MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Cincinnati Reds quickly put their five-game skid behind them on Sunday.
After watching the Brewers take large leads in the first two games of the series, the Reds came out strong, scoring five runs in the first two innings and coasting to a 9-2 victory in Milwaukee.
Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer and Ryan Freel went 3-for-5 with a homer for the Reds, who won for only the 16th time in 51 games since the All Star break. Freel finished a triple short of the cycle and scored three runs.
“It really flip-flopped today and we got the big lead early,” said Reds manager Dave Miley. “That’s kind of how the series went. Today, we were the ones that came out strong.”
The early lead gave Reds pitcher Luke Hudson a cushion, though he didn’t end up needing it. The right-hander ended up pitching six scoreless innings and gave up only one hit, a third inning double by Brady Clark.
“I felt a little better out there today,” said Hudson, who missed the entire 2003 season following arthoscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder. “I fell behind in the count too often. But we got the win, which is the most important thing.”
The Reds scored twice in the second. Freel’s solo homer made it 4-0 and Jimenez padded the lead with an RBI double.
Dunn hit his 41st homer in the fourth and Casey added an RBI single in the eighth.
The only scoring threat the Brewers mounted against Hudson came in the third inning when the Brewers had runners at second and third. But Hudson struck out Brewers 1B Lyle Overbay with a curve to end the inning.
“That’s a big out,” Miley said. “One swing of the bat from Overbay and they are right back in the game. I know the final score ended up 9-2, but if Overbay does something there, it could have been a different game.”
“I tried to stay down in the zone and get ahead of him,” he said. “I made a good pitch and luckily I got it by him.
Jorge De La Rosa (0-2), making his second major league start for the Brewers, lasted only 1 2-3 inning, giving up five runs and five hits.
“I tried to do the best I could, but I just didn’t have command and couldn’t get control of the strike zone,” De La Rosa said. “I just didn’t get it done today.”
Brewers manager Ned Yost said he was disappointed with De La Rosa’s outing, but was still confident in his future.
“You are going to go through this with young pitchers at times,” he said. “Command has been an issue with him, but he has great stuff. The last thing we wanted him to do was go out and pitch just two innings, so we’ll see if he can rebound.”
The loss ended the Brewers’ modest three-game winning streak.
“We had a good young pitcher on the mound today and that’s what happens sometimes,” Yost said. “We just need to forget about it and start a new streak tomorrow.”
Milwaukee prospect Dave Krynzel drove in his first major league RBI with an eighth-inning ground out.
Keith Ginter added a solo home run in the ninth to make it 9-2. ^Notes: Brewers C Gary Bennett’s seventh inning single gave him a five-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .529 with two home runs and 5 RBIs during the stretch. … Dunn’s home run gave him the sixth-most homers in a season by a Reds player. George Foster holds the club record with 52 home runs in 1977.